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Hey Honey I Shrunk My Differentiation: Death by News Feed

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 by in ThiNK First | 10 comments

death by newsfeed

Is newsification and an obsession with newsfeeds taking over all things social?

Are all the sites you explore looking the same?

I don’t think it will end well for many.

For me many of these tools/apps began in different places with unique missions, but they now all look the same.

My sense is they have denied themselves their differentiation.

When so many startup  decided to jump on news feed as a metaphor I thought we were set for trouble.

I wrote this headline maybe 4-5 months ago as an idea for a blog post and promptly forgot about about.

The Facebook announcement to refocus around news and the acquisition of Pulse by Linkedin jogged the memory.

Many have commented has Facebook has responded to look more like G+.

A while back, I’d noticed Klout had given up it’s 16 part segmentation to classify your user style, which I liked,  chosing to focus on news instead. Kred followed with KredStory.

I was surprised to see Empire Avenue has also taken a conformist step to focus on sharing content, which was odd as EA had such a unique proposition.

Pulse, Zite and Flipboard are the ones defining this trend, with a healthy dose of Pinterest visualization and fluidity thrown into the mix (and a splash of Instagram)

They have been playing leapfrog and catchup, but it’s still hard to find a consistent experience across all devices.

The trend for responsive themes have made so many blogs look like news feeds too, adding to the confusion.

Read it later apps have also added to the confusion by offering yet another unified ad-free way of consuming content.

Now add to mix Google’s decision to kill off Google Reader and the foundation of news reader shudders.

We have yet more people thinking and focusing on news centric consumption. The idea of being both device and user aware is on the rise. Many titles have reclaimed their right to know their users by adding a connected layer on top of the regular G+, Twitter and Facebook logins.

  • Don’t you think all these site look the same?
  • How do you choose to consume your news?
  • Do you feel any emotional commitment to any of them?
  • Can you explain the difference between all the different tools that look like social news feeds?

My sense is people will settle to use less tools, not more. Trying to differentiate yourself by looking like a newsfeed will get you  lost. You will simply get forgotten or overlooked.

Triberr is one app that has a unique spin on news consumption. They want to be the place bloggers consume, comment and share content – all via a collaborative tribal platform. They have argued for a while that RSS was dead/broken.

I’m a big fan of Triberr and I’ve written about their approach to collaboration before. I happen to believe in their vision and strategies for community building. If you blog then it makes total sense that you would want to collaborate and work with other bloggers and I see synergies in the consume, comment and share workflow that their new version makes even more evident. Have you tried Triberr? I know I’ve met some great people because of the platform.

Along with Listly, they also launch a new release on Monday 18th March.

What’s going to make you loyal to any specific service?  Which do you use?

I’m thinking this is madness and close to suicidal. Death by news feed. How about you?

Image Credit: pagedooley via and Creative Commons





Nick Kellet (164 Posts)

Nick is co-founder the social curation platform Listly, that combines crowdsourcing, content curation and embedable lists to drive high-level community engagement, live inside your blog posts. Connect with Nick on Twitter · Linkedin, Facebook and G+ and follow his writing via his other guest posts and on his blogs at and


  1. Well, thanks for this post!  I thought it was me!  Having trouble with Triberr and with a few others.

  2. Nice, I love Triberr and that’s how I came across your post today. I find it the easiest to get the latest news from posts and getting my own seen and shared as well. It’s a win-win system. 
    I did not use the Google reader often. I also subscribe to some blogs to receive via email. But with more joining Triberr I may not have to deal with many emails.

    • lisabuben290 Things sure keep changing. And yes mass adoption helps your choice of tool. Picking something too niche can be hard, but then who’d have thought reader would stop.

    • cynthiakahn Thanks for the RT, Cynthia – hope you’re doing well! : )

  3. Good post, Nick.
    I think you are correct, this will not end well for many. I think that people will find that they already have a preferred way to read, collect, curate and manage the things they care about the most.
    For instance, I came across this post in my Triberr stream where I go every day. Many of the tweets from yesterday were from a particular electronic mag I catch up on once a week. As my interests continue to morph, grow and in some cases coalesce, so do my reading habits and the services I use to “consume” them.
    I think many will discover that even though they may have had 1000 titles in their Google Reader feed, they weren’t really looking at most of them.

    • Martina McGowan It’s true – hard to satisfy our morphing curiosity. Sometimes it feels easier to start again than to spring clean

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